Scrap wood sculptures with the art group

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We made wood sculptures with the art group yesterday using frame pieces, popsicle sticks, and some other small scrap wood pieces. The kids glued all these together and to heavy mat board (remnants from the same frame shop). Justin's is above and below — he was really into the project



We used regular all-purpose school glue, both in squeeze bottles and in open dishes with paintbrushes.


Gil working on his sculpture.


His older sister Josie carefully made about 7 or 8 stand-alone mini sculptures and set them along the terrace wall to dry.
Have any of you done this? I think it would be fun to paint them afterwards, although I don't know that we will. It would also be nice to do these on a wooden base (rather than the mat board).

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  1. Lindsey says

    love this idea! I try to think of 3-D projects to do with my 3 year old rather than just paper all the time. Another “sculpture” project we enjoyed was simply glueing beans, all different shapes and sizes, to a scrap of 2×4 wood. I am picturing combining these ideas and painting them when they’re dry does sound good too. Thanks again for inspiration!

  2. says

    This was one of my daughter’s favorite activities at preschool! Sometime the teachers added a little tempera paint to the glue, so the kids got just a hint of color as they worked on their sculptures.

  3. CA says

    This is a great idea! We don’t have scrap wood but we have a lot of small tree branches and sticks for the large old trees in our yard. I’ve never thought of trying to do sculpture with them. Thanks for the idea. The kids will love this.

  4. says

    Oh, yes, always a hit…and for some kids, really taps into their creative energy even more than working 2-d…I especially find this with preschool aged boys who find fine motor skills a drag (I hate to generalize by gender, but, alas, this, in general, plagues little boys more often than little girls based on my observations). Anyway, they all love building with wood and glue. I find even white school glue does the trick. For fun, you can find all sorts of embellishments from Discount School Supply…little wood tiles and sticks in multicolors, and I incorporate found objects and things I collect, like lids from containers, molded cardboard inserts from boxes, and/or natural materials.

  5. says

    we have done this too, a few days after we painted them and they are now rather odd ornaments in the garden.

  6. Rachel says

    and the project continues to inspire! jean delivered justin his sculpture today, and he wanted to work on it some more. he glued on more sticks, googly eyes, and other embellishments like julie (above) had suggested. this time he wanted to use glitter glue instead of just the white glue. so now it looks a little less like the small mtn town he said he was originally making and a little more like las vegas!

  7. says

    I love the expression on the childrens faces around the table, as they are busily preparing and concentrating while making their sculptures.
    Anything to do with gluing would certainly capture my little girls attention at the moment. Using different materials, apart from paper and cardboard, is exciting.

  8. says

    We just used regular all-purpose school glue and it held together fine. I tested it ahead of time to make sure because I had the same question. I’m glad the school glue worked because I have a lot of it vs only one bottle of wood glue!

  9. says

    My children’s nursery school teacher did a project similar to this. they made the base sculpture out of wood, cardboard tubes, neat peices of packing cardboard (gluing them just like you did) then the next class they painted them, the next class the added chenile stems, wooden beads, plastic bits, etc, and the final class they dictated what their sculpture was all about. They were on display, along with their narration, at a parent meeting for the school. So sweet. A really neat art exhibit!

  10. says

    We used to do this in my nursery school with real hammers and nails! It is actually one of my very first memories and I have been thinking that I should let my kids do it as well. Using glue would be a lot safer too. :)

  11. says

    I’d like to try this with Maia with real hammer and nails! I don’t think I’d do it with a large group of kids this age but one on one sounds manageable. I need to find Maia a small hammer though…

  12. [email protected] says

    You can have the children “nail” golf tees into big chunks of styrofoam with plastic hammers. You can get golf tees at the dollar stores and styrofoam from packaging. Just a fun hammering activity.